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Sperlonga - The Fascia Superiore area

Writing the book guides of historical climbing spots, in which the routes were established by many climbers at various time, is not easy, even if you know by heart the place. Luigi Filocamo tells us something about his historical investigations on the routes of the Fascia Superiore area of Sperlonga.

La Fascia Superiore
The Fascia Superiore area
Luigi Filocamo

The great crag that we commonly call Sperlonga actually has very little to do with the famous and fascinating seaside village. The rocky relief, now almost entirely crossed by climbing routes, is indicated on the maps as Monte Vannellamare and the territory is entirely in the municipality of Itri, which has its border along the Fosso Pecorane which divides Monte Vannellamare from Monte Moneta, twin cliff which is in the territory of the Municipality of Gaeta.

On these rocks, since the early 1980s, the history of climbing in Lazio has been written in several hands, a beautiful story, made of friendships and rivalry, lived with immense passion by the protagonists who in these 40 years peeled the fingers of their hands and stressed their feet on these limestone drops following the rhythm of the times.

In all this time, the methods, materials, and criteria for the equipment of the routes have naturally evolved, and the great heritage of "historic" routes has been almost completely updated, always trying not to upset the characteristics of the routes, compatibly with the maintaining a certain safety standard.

Sperlonga "classica"


In particular between the routes of the upper left part of the Fascia Superiore, born from the visionary imagination of Stefano Finocchi, there is a particularly interesting route, bolted by Stefano bel 1985. The route is La memoria del tempo, the name comes from a Cure song (Just One Kiss, from the 1983 album Japanese Whispers). Stefano tried to free her for a few months without succeeding. After a few time, this route was free climbed by Alessandro Lamberti (Jolly) who in a few years time will become the first Italian to climb a route of 9a, but in 1985/86 in the Lazio region nobody had yet opened and therefore climbed an 8a route, the first European 8a date back to 1983 thanks to sacred monsters like Edlinger, Antoine Le Menestrel, Tribout, and Manolo, and it was difficult to think of having reached those levels, so on the Lazio Verticale guidebook by Andrea Di Bari and Fabrizio Antonioli the route was evaluated 7c +, although in reality, even in the absence of repetitions after the exploit of Jolly, already in 1995 on the guidebook Arrampicare nel sole by Federico D'Isep, Umberto Gentili, Andrea Giurato and Bruno Vitale, the route was evaluated 8a.

But we have to wait more than 30 years for the first repetition of the route, by Andrea D'Addazio, a young and very strong climber from Abruzzo, a hunter of historical routes, who does not hesitate to raise the grade to 8b! On the other hand, it is not a novelty to discover that the degrees of the historic routes of Sperlonga are systematically compressed …


Confronto guide
Tracks on Lazio Verticale (Ed. Sezione di Roma of CAI, 1986)
and Arrampicare nel sole (Ed. Black Comic Press, 1985)

During this last year, dedicating myself to the census, check and report of the 67 routes currently present on the Fascia Superiore, I realized that just in the area of Il ricordo del tempo it was made in a bit of confusion in the past. Between La passione and the pillar of Giochi d'azzardo there are at least two routes, probably re-equipped in the 90s, but which I'm unable to identify with certainty. On Lazio Verticale two routes are drawn in the photo but only one is described in the text (104 Big banana, 7b but the description does not correspond to the route), while on Arrampicare nel sole there is another (Gravity 7c+ but also here the track does not seem to correspond to the relationship). The same thing is reported in the most recent guides by Bruno Vitale (Blue Rock and Blue Rock 2). However, the current equipment status does not recommend repetition of these routes.

Fascia Superiore - Doubts
Current situation


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